The case was filed by two buyers who had purchased a unit in the project called Runwal Greens by Propel Developers Pvt Ltd, situated at Mulund, Mumbai, through a registered agreement
Homebuyers cannot seek compensation for delay in handover of an apartment by a builder if the project has already received a part occupancy certificate and the process of possession is on, Maharashtra RERA authority has ruled.
“Simple present tense used in the starting line of Section 18 clearly indicates that the provision shall apply only till the project is incomplete or the promoter is unable to give possession. Once the project construction is complete or possession is given, as the case may be, the said provision ceases to operate,” Gautam Chatterjee, Chairperson, MahaRERA, said in the order dated November 12.
“In view of the above facts, the Respondent is not liable to pay interest on delay to the Complainants, as per section 18 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016. The complainants are advised to take possession of the apartment and make the balance payments as per the terms and conditions of the said agreement. The increase in the carpet area is being charged on a proportional basis with respect to the consideration price of the apartment and that being covered in the agreement for sale, cannot be termed as a breach of the agreement for sale,” the order said.
The builder has also been directed to provide a certificate of the project’s architect to the buyers certifying the increased carpet area of the said apartment.
The case was filed by Ashley Neil Serrao and Mark Clement Serrao who had purchased a unit in the project called Runwal Greens by Propel Developers Pvt Ltd, situated at Mulund, Mumbai, through a registered agreement for sale dated January 10, 2012. Their plea for compensation was rejected by MahaRERA.
The buyers had said in their complaint that the developer had promised to hand over possession by December 2015 as per the said agreement but on July 18 the developer asked them to take over possession after “making the requisite payments”.
They said in their complaint that the builder had increased the carpet area of the apartment and demanded an additional amount. They claimed that the builder had failed to provide an explanation for the sudden increase in the carpet area but also did not allow the physical examination of the said apartment for verifying the increased carpet area.
“Therefore, the builder should be directed to handover possession of the said apartment at the earliest and pay them interest and compensation for the delay in handing over possession,” the buyers had demanded.
The first date of the hearing was on June 19, 2019 and the developer submitted through his lawyer that the project was already completed, a part occupancy certificate was obtained on July 7, 2018 before the complaint had been filed by the buyer and that possession had already been offered to the buyers.
The builder also submitted that it was handing over possession of the apartment and the amenities, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the said agreement. It agreed that the carpet area of the said apartment has marginally increased and the same is borne out by the sanctioned occupancy certificate plan of the said apartment.The said increase in the carpet area is being charged on a proportional basis with respect to the consideration price of the apartment and that is in accordance with the relevant clause in the agreement for sale. The Complainants are in violation of section 19(10) of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 since they have failed to pay the balance consideration amount and take possession of the said apartment, the builder claimed.